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Capital One Steps up Collection Efforts

megaphoneIf you have a Capital One credit card, you may have recently received a contract update in the mail.  Most people don’t really take the time to read these things, but after you read this, you may want to dig it out of the trash.  Normally when you owe a debt the creditor has a right to make efforts to collect what you owe them, but Capital One may be taking this thing too far.

Can you imagine, you  clock in at the office, and at some point the boss says that there is someone there to see you.  You are thinking that maybe it is a family member, and something is wrong.  You step into the office to find a representative from Capital One, and they are asking for their payment.  Hard to imagine, but this is the information that Capital One has added to the contract update.  You could also be sitting on your porch sipping lemonade with your neighbor, and a person comes up to your porch and says they are from Capital One and would like you to make your payment. Read More…

Planning for a Debt Free New Year

The last quarter of the year brings mixed feeling to most people,whereas  some people see the new year as a fresh start, others panic because tax season is that much closer but this year, you should be planning for a debt free New Year.  We also begin to list the things that are important for us to change in the year ahead. How we see debt, and how we manage it should be one of your top priorities in the new year.  Make this your year to get a handle on your debt, and take steps toward debt freedom.

Follow Through!

In the first quarter of a new year there is so much promise and we tend to make resolutions we forget about before the first week of the new year is over, but a new year is a new chance to follow through and make some important changes in our lives.  If you could follow through with one New Year’s resolution this year, focus on getting out of debt.  Debt causes stress, illness, divorce and many other undesirable things.  By simply making a plan to reduce your debt, and putting forth minimal effort to follow through each month, you could change your financial picture and gain peace of mind. Read More…

Woman Wins Lawsuit Against Equifax

homeI am not a big fan of frivolous lawsuits, but it is about time that someone point the finger at credit reporting agencies, and make them more accountable.  Errors on your credit report can make obtaining loans, credit cards and even employment difficult, if not impossible.  An Oregon woman won an important battle in the war,after finding discrepancies on her credit report, and contacting the reporting agencies to correct the information, after two years Equifax still had not changed the incorrect information. She was awarded 18.4 million dollars for punitive damages.  It is my hope that this will begin reform in the credit reporting system.

Mistakes on Your Credit Report

Have you checked your credit report this year?  If the answer is no, you need to right away.  You can visit www.annualcreditreport.com, and get a free copy of your credit report from all three of the major credit reporting agencies.  You need to order and print these reports, and go over them with a fine toothed comb.  Start with the basics, check the spelling of your name, the accuracy of your address history, birth date, social security number and employment history.  If you find issues with any of this basic information, it should raise a red flag, and you need to contact the agency reporting the incorrect information immediately!   Next, check on all of the accounts reported and make sure that their information is correct.  It is important to not only contact the agencies to correct this information, but FOLLOW UP to be sure the corrections are made. Read More…

Can’t Pay Your Credit Card Bills?-Jamestown, NY

credit_card_debtIf you can’t pay your credit card bills, know this, you are not alone.  Bad things happen to good people and your inability to pay your credit card bills does not make you a bad person.  Many of our customers come to us feeling defeated and irresponsible for getting themselves in over their heads, but most people don’t intend to stop paying their credit card bills, the snowball effect accumulates over a long period of time, and one slip up can begin a slippery slope of trouble.

Can’t Pay Your Full Balance

Many people panic when they can’t pay the full balance of their credit card at the end of the month.  Sometimes things come up that we are not fully prepared for, such as, car repairs, health problems, etc.  If you can’t completely pay off your balance this month, pay as much as you can, at least the minimum payment, more if you are able.  You will be charged interest on the remaining balance, but you will prevent any late fee incurring.  Make an adjustment to your next months budget, and cut the fat to allow the full payment next month if you can. Read More…

Cheap Day Trips- Jamestown, NY

pennyWith Summer approaching, many of us get the itch to get out and enjoy summer time activities.  One of the first things to consider is the number of things you and your family want to do this Summer, and how you can make the most of your entertainment dollars.  Set a budget for the season, and start making a list of the things you want to do and see.  Don’t skimp on the list, even if the idea seems too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised how easy you can come up with a less expensive alternative.

Go Local!

Sometimes the best places my family and I have visited have been right in our own  backyard.  Well, not literally, but we tend to not pay attention to our own local attractions.  Here in Western NY, we have beautiful lakes, camp grounds, amusement parks, and seasonal festivals too numerous to mention.  When you stay local you can certainly save money on transportation cost which can be a large chunk of your budget.  Your list may include things you don’t have locally, like maybe you want to go to Sea World, but the cost and distance of the trip puts that out of reach.  Consider your closest zoo, a cost effective alternative to a theme park that would be a fun day trip, at a significant cost reduction.

Try Something New

Go to your local rest stop and pick up some pamphlets of the activities in your local area and do something you have never done before.  In our area we have local wineries and I have always wanted to do a wine tasting tour.  Low cost, and something I have never done before.  We also have a local celebrity, Lucille Ball.  We have a museum, and I have never been to it, even though I see tourists go into it every day!  What is your area famous for?  You may stumble across a real gem!

Just Do It!

The Summer season is short and before you know it, the parks and seasonal activities will pass you by.  Stick to your budget, make your list, and try something new!

Happy Trails~Pay Off Your Debt

Tips on Choosing a Legitimate Debt Settlement Company

When you have made the decision to get out of debt, and you feel that debt settlement may be right for you, you need to begin the questionsearch for a legitimate debt settlement company.  Recent laws have been passed that have helped weed out the good guys from the bad guys, but you should know what to look for and choose the best debt settlement company to suit your particular needs.

Debt settlement is a cost effective alternative to bankruptcy.  The first thing you need to look out for is up-front fees.  Debt settlement companies are NOT allowed to charge fees before a service is performed.  This means, no enrollment fees, not set-up fees, no administrative fees, NO FEES, PERIOD.  A legitimate debt settlement company only charges a fee when they obtain a settlement on your behalf.  Fees are usually based on a percentage of the savings the company achieves for you. Read More…